As I mentioned in my last post, I had been unable to find any record of my great-grandfather, George H. Perkins, but fortunately (and due to the good memory of a cousin) was able to discover some critical information of my great-grandmother, Julia (Curtin) Perkins. The documents of the funeral home in Natick and from contacting the town of Auburn, NY, confirmed that her burial place was in Braintree, MA. I tried to contact the Plain Street Cemetery, but because the cemetery is run by the town, communications were difficult at best. This was another job for some sturdy walking shoes…and a tank of gas.
My father and I headed up to Braintree early in the morning, as you never know how many twists and turns are waiting ahead. We arrived at the Plain Street Cemetery just after 10:30am (at least we thought it was the Plain Street Cemetery). We didn’t notice a sign but that didn’t stop our enthusiastic start. A quick look around revealed no map but there were a few section marker signs…we just needed to figure out the “system.” We were looking for Section 1, which might have also meant the oldest section (not sure) and maybe the first section that pre-dated the whole idea of numbering the sections of the cemetery (not sure about that also, but upon reflection of our day, I think the section numbering idea was not developed on day 1…). By now my father and I have established a fairly good system of cemetery searching, spreading out a bit to cover more area but also staying close to communicate and second check each other. After a bit of walking around and one or two distant cousins with the same Perkins name, we finally found George and Julia. The feeling was pretty wonderful – we had found the evasive burial place of important family members and we were now connected in a new way, albeit through prayer and respect for their final resting place. We cleaned the grave markers and paid our prayerful respect for a time.
Our next mission was to try to better understand where and when George had died. We headed off to the Town Clerk’s Office in Braintree…confident that that is exactly where he died (or, at least that’s what we told the Town Clerk). No…no record of George H. Perkins in Braintree. He jumped in the car and headed off to Quincy because family stories had placed a few relatives there. Again, a boost of confidence and a meeting with the City Clerk in Quincy. The City Clerk was not as confident, so we were allowed to check the record index ourselves. Again, we were fortunate to find George’s record in Quincy and close the loop on this bit of his story…many more stories await!